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Spain + Portugal Recommendations

I’ve been busy today because we leave on a two week trip tomorrow to Spain, Portugal, and Morocco. It is about 20 degrees warmer than Paris so I’m excited to shed the heavy coats for some lightweight sweaters. This will likely be the last trip we take before we move back to the US. After researching some here is our itinerary. Spain: Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Arcos de la Frontera, Tarifa, Granada. Portugal: Salema, Lisbon. In addition we’ll take a day trip to Morocco. I’m fluent in Portuguese so I’ll be able to use my language skills at least on part of the trip! I’d love recommendations if you have them.

photo by Christian Chaize available here.

  1. Yvette

    February 15, 2012

    Juana la Loca is a delicious tapas restaurant in Madrid. In my opinion they had the best tortilla in town. If you make your way to El Rastro (Sunday flea market) then you will be right by Juana la Loca. I lived in Madrid for 3 months and never got tired of El Parque de Retiro. It’s Madrid’s version of Central Park. Grab some sandwiches, let the kids run around and have some lunch while relaxing at the park. Museo Reina Sofia was my favorite of all the museums. If you go to Museo del Prado (which is also great) I believe they have free entrance from 6-8 on weekdays and 5-8 on the weekend. I’m heading to Lisbon for my honeymoon in June so please post any recommendations!

  2. Monica

    February 15, 2012

    Fluent in Portuguese? COOL :)
    Check out Goop’s Lisbon Guide:
    Have a wonderful and safe trip!

  3. Paul Vitale

    February 15, 2012

    My boyfriend is from Madrid. There are so many amazing things to do there. Make sure you hit the rastro (neighborhood wide flea market) in La Latina bario.. its every sunday.

    EAT Austurian food… there’s a great little place on Calle de las Tabernillas in La Latina also Casa Mingo near the station Principio Pio. The cider (sidra) is AMAZING.

    El Museo del Jamon is touristy but WELL worth a stop.

    Bar Melos at Calle Ave María, 44 is a GEM. They serve these AMAZING gigantic jamon and queso sandwiches… and little fried green peppers and the smoothest croquetas in Madrid. THIS PLACE IS TRULY SPECIAL and should NOT be missed!!!

    have fun!

  4. Megan

    February 15, 2012

    Adoro o Portugal!

    I fifth (sixth?) Sintra: It struck me as the real-life Neighborhood of Make-Believe from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.

    Shop: A Vida Portuguesa in Chiado. They carry products that are only made in Portugal – classic items. Utterly charming.

    Bakery: There is a bakery in Rossio called Casa Brasileira, which has pão de queijo (and pasteis de Belem) if you have a hankering.


  5. Amanda Mouttaki

    February 15, 2012

    I can’t really help much with Spain and Portugal but I can with Morocco!!
    In Tangier some of the interesting tourist sites include the Dar al Makhzen (Sultan’s Palace) that also houses the Museum of Moroccan Arts and Museum of Antiquities. The Tangier American Legation Museum dedicated to preserving and strengthening the bond of the United States and Morocco. The Museum of Contemporary Art housed in the old British consulate includes six rooms representing a stage in the evolution of modern painting in Morocco. The Tangier Grand Mosque constructed in the late 17th century after rule was returned to a Moroccan monarch. In 1880 Hassan I provided a piece of land to the British community of Tangier to build the Anglican Church of St. Andrew. A cemetery is also found on the property bearing the names of several famous individuals. It has a really interesting history!
    Of course grab some good Moroccan food including the Tangerine specialty of kalinte (a pancake like bread made with chickpea flour). Have a great trip!

  6. Naiara

    February 15, 2012

    Boa Viagem! Que interessante saber que falas português fluente! Voltarei aqui mais vezes, adorei seus posts! beijos

  7. Kimberley

    February 15, 2012

    How exciting! I went to Spain a long time ago. I remember loving Rioja, the Alhambra in Granada, olives, cheese, delicious food. I was so taken with the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Ashley of Not Without Salt went to Morocca recently and wrote about it on her blog:

  8. Maria

    February 15, 2012

    I wouldn’t spend a lot of time in Barcelona. I was there a week and definitely could have seen the city in a day. Also, the people there are surprisingly not friendly. The locals there recommended that we spend more time in the South of Spain. Have fun!

  9. Colette

    February 15, 2012

    I’m actually living in Madrid for the year studying & working, and have been keeping track of my adventures here and all around Spain (and Europe) since August. Please, visit my blog for lots of fun recommendations…

    I’d suggest looking at the “tourist” tags for recommendations in and around Madrid, but I have also visited Sevilla, Barcelona, Toledo, Salamanca, Segovia, Cordoba, … I think that’s it, in the last 6 months… with all of them logged on my blog. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

  10. Susannah

    February 15, 2012

    Oh how absolutely Marvelous!

    I lived in Spain in college and spent a few months knocking around Morocco last year … two recommendations:

    The Alhambra in Granada is just as amazing as everyone says, as are the epansive Generalife gardens… There is a beautiful (and pretty ritzy) parador there- a parador is a castle, monastery, fort, or other awesome old stone building turned into a hotel and run by the Spanish government- that has a small restaurant with a garden terrace that has a fabulous view of the Generalife and down into the city… it isn’t crowded and it is lovely and private feeling and full of flowers and fountains. This would be a very nice place to park it with the kiddoes (and pause for a glass of wine) with little hassle. You can also hear the call to prayer here around sundown.

    In Morocco, please get yourself some Hare Lipstick. It’s sold in pretty much every apothecary in every medina. You’ll know the place by the other stuff they carry- black soap, argan oils, rosewater, orange flower water and bedouin makeup- kohl in a little jar and a pot of black lip stuff that turns a bright red when you add water (all that stuff is great too). BUT Hare Lipstick. Woah. Also known as “Rouge Magique”, it comes in a bright kelly green tube with gold butterflies on it and the lipstick itself is green (I know, I know, sounds weird)… when you put it on it turns the PERFECT shade of pink. Even if you thought you loved only red lipstick. No matter what your coloring. And a tube is about 8 dhirams (which is, like, 60 cents). And it stays on forever. I never would have discovered it, but my best friend turned us on to it after taking a teaching job and moving to Marrakech on a whim. It made all of our Moroccan road trip pictures look like Terry Richardson made “Out of Africa”.

    Have a wonderful time and eat everything!

  11. Jessamyn

    February 15, 2012

    I spent 2 months in Morocco on a mission trip and it was amazing! I wish you guys were getting to go for longer – I have no experience with Tangiers but I’ve heard it’s beautiful! have fun.

  12. Isa.

    February 15, 2012

    Segovia is so close to Madrid and it is amazing!! The castle and aqueduct are in walking distance from each other. It’s like being in a little medievil village. Chocolateria San Gines in Madrid, not far from Plaza del Sol, has the best chocolate and churros. In the same area is EL Botin, which prides itself as the oldest restaurant in the world, and the suckling pig is very tasty. You should make reservations ahead of time. You can make them online. Fun bit of trivia: Hemingway mentions El Botin in The Sun Also Rises. Have so much fun!

  13. Isa.

    February 15, 2012

    oops. i read over my last comment and noticed i had said plaza del sol when it is the puerta del sol. getting it mixed up with plaza mayor which is in the same area. one more thing i forgot to mention is go by Casa Hernanz also in Madrid. They have quality and amazing espadrilles for cheap. It is one of the most famous alpagaterias in Madrid. El Botin, Casa Hernanz, and San Gines are in walking distance of each other.

  14. Angie

    February 15, 2012

    In Morocco only for a day? Get in a taxi (you’ll need to take a large taxi since there are 4 of you) go directly to the old medina (medina qadima) and appreciate the art deco architecture on your way there. wander slowly, ignore the pushy vendors but accept the treats and kisses they’ll give to your kids. Hold onto your wallets! Street food and fresh orange juice. Avocado and almond milkshakes (assir d’avocat/ assir d’luz). Accept samples from the piles of dates. Don’t buy anything over 500 dirhams without a HARD bargain. thank you = shukran, hello = salaam

  15. laura @ in widening circles

    February 15, 2012

    I lived in Madrid for a spell and know it better than Chicago (where I was born and spent 18 years!?). I second (or maybe third?) the recommendation for tapas at El Tigre in Chueca. While in Chueca, I’d check out Natura– a really great shop full of clothes, housewares, accessories… I miss it desperately.

    Go go go to El Retiro with your boys! They’ll adore it. Sundays there are drum circles (and everything that comes along with drum circles, so… you know… supervise? I guess?) and you can row a boat through the lake, get your fortunes told, have an ice cream and watch the street performers.

    Plus chocolate and churros at San Gines is a must. A. Must.

    Have so much fun, please eat a lot and have some wine for me. Cheers!!

  16. Alexis

    February 15, 2012

    That sounds like an amazing trip! Spain and Morocco is on my must-see list. I can’t wait to hear all about it!

  17. Liz

    February 15, 2012

    Have to agree with AVIVA on Tangiers – it can be pretty rough and with children too, I can’t imagine. Perhaps you will be treated differently as a family though? All the places you are going are so beautiful, and as you’re not going in the height of summer you’ll have less issues with pickpockets, or possibly none, as we had.


  18. Kristin

    February 15, 2012

    In Barcelona, Tapas 24 had the best sandwich (called Bikini) I’ve ever had in my life. Don’t miss Parc Guell, the Picasso Museum, and sitting outside people watching on Las Ramblas. We also did the Al Hambra in Grenada spain that was amazing. We hit Madeira Portugal that was totally gorgeous, and Marrakesh Morocco. Buy yourself a lantern in Morocco, you won’t regret it, and don’t pass up the super fresh orange juice they sell on the street :) Have fun!

  19. elz

    February 15, 2012

    The Alhambra in Granada is amazing! You will love it. Have a blast!

  20. Tiffany Miller

    February 15, 2012

    In Granada, do not miss seeing The Alhambra. It is even more magical if you can see it at night. My best friend and I did a trip similar to yours several years ago and the absolute highlight of the trip that we STILL talk about was seeing The Alhambra at night.

    Safe travels!!

  21. Emily

    February 15, 2012

    So jealous!! :) My brother liked the market in Marrakesh and I agree with the previous commenter about seeing Ronda if you can! We liked Alhambra (you will need tickets to enter certain parts and they are sticklers on making sure you’re in the right time slot. Cadiz is pretty close to Arcos and a really neat city- one of the oldest in Spain. :) Get a picture by the sign in Tarifa that has the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. :)

  22. Corinne

    February 16, 2012

    Exciting!! I lived abroad in Granada and if you’re only there for a short time, a not-to-miss view is from the Mirador de San Nicolas. It’s a bit of an urban hike up to the plaza but the view of the Alhambra and the city is amazing (both in day and night)! Ask any local, they’ll know exactly where it is but you can head in the right direction by walking around the Albayzin neighborhood.

    Definitely spend some time wandering the streets of that hood — gorgeous houses and apartments built right into the mountain. Get a shawarma or falafel with all the fixings from any of the shawarma shops along Calle Elvira (THE best I’ve ever had)…and was only 3 euros a few years ago!

    And of course, visit the Alhambra!

  23. hayley

    February 16, 2012

    My husband served his mission in Madrid 10 years ago and we were able to go back last year. It was BREATHTAKING! I second Segovia. That city is just beautiful and there is something to see every turn you take. Toledo was pretty fabulous too. And Retiro would be a great place to take the kids. I’m just full of envy!


  24. andrea

    February 16, 2012

    oi! desde que voce disse que ama o Brasil e fala portugues, vim dizer um Oi! Eu acompanho seu blog e me inspirou muito para eu convencer meu marido americano a se mudar pro Brasil comigo (for a couple years at least), assim ele aprende portugues de uma vez! e meu nenem tambem (ele tem 6 meses), moro em Los Angeles ha 12 anos, nao eh que eu nao gosto mais mas queria muito mostrar pra eles como se vive no Brasil. Adoro seu blog! Beijos e abraços!


  25. andrea

    February 16, 2012

    oi! desde que voce disse que ama o Brasil e fala portugues, vim dizer um Oi! Eu acompanho seu blog e me inspirou muito para eu convencer meu marido americano a se mudar pro Brasil comigo (for a couple years at least), assim ele aprende portugues de uma vez! e meu nenem tambem (ele tem 6 meses), moro em Los Angeles ha 12 anos, nao eh que eu nao gosto mais mas queria muito mostrar pra eles como se vive no Brasil.
    I really loved Casa Batlo in Barcelona, I never thought architecture could bring tears of happiness to my eyes… Gaudi is the man!
    Again I cried listening to Fado in Portugal at a restaurant, can’t miss it! The food is amazing here, go to a brazilian steak place at bairro alto, you’ll love it!
    Adoro seu blog! Beijos e abraços!


  26. Naomi

    February 16, 2012

    Hi Jordan,

    I’ve been a fan of your blog for years and am so happy to hopefully provide you with some ideas for Portugal/Spain (after you’ve given me so many!). I lived in Lisbon for two years (2007-2009) and we frequently took road trips to Seville as well. I actually lived in Cascais (it’s the last stop on the train line from Lisbon to the Ocean…about a 40 minute ride from Lisbon). I would absolutely recommend going to Cascais and I think it would also be more kid friendly than Lisbon. There’s a lovely ocean walk/restaurants between Estoril and Cascais. But I would actually recommend the walk between Cascais and Casa de Guia (about a mile). There’s a little park along the way that is very cute and has peacocks and also a marinha and an old fortress (we saw Pink Martini in the fortress – could be interesting to see if they have scheduled any concerts while you are there). And I love Casa de Guia – it’s all these little villas converted to restaurants with gorgeous views and fabulous trees that the kids love to climb. Casa de Guia is pretty popular with expats, but you will find a mix of cuisines as well as a little antique market on the weekends.

    I agree with the other reviews that Sintra is a must, although it is a little difficult to get to without a car (my sister got sick on her bus trip up to the top!). They have a toy museum that I thought was darling – and perhaps your boys would enjoy.

    In addition, I also saw that there was a recommendation to go to the restaurant La Brasserie de L’Entrecote. Hands down my favorite restaurant in Portugal, but they also have them in Paris and so you’ve probably already been (although I think the secret sauce is richer/better in Portugal). They have this restaurant in Chiado in Lisbon and in the Marinha in Cascais. I must say, that most of our visitors liked Cascais better than Lisbon, but I think that you still need to see Lisbon of course. If you go to Belem, my second favorite eatery is just a few doors down from Pasteis de Belem. It’s called Quejo Quejo, Pao Pao…and they have the BEST gyros and a fabulous aioli for your gyro and fries.

    Seville is one of my favorite cities in Spain and we often would take our friends there on road trips. One of my favorite things to do is to go to one of the hotels with a rooftop deck with views of the cathedral (the hotels are right across the street from the cathedral and we like either EME or Hotel Dona Maria). The cathedral is beautifully lit at night. We often stayed at Las Casas de la Juderia (in the Jewish quarter) and it is a beautiful example of Seville’s architecture.

    Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or want more ideas!

  27. Gracia

    February 16, 2012

    If you only visit two places in Spain, they should be the Alhambra (and Generalife gardens, a total must) in Granada and the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

    I second the Mercado de San Miguel recommendation for Madrid, I love it. If you have time, Alcalá de Henares (birth place of Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote) is a beautiful little town very close to Madrid.

    I’ve also read someone suggesting visiting Valencia. I’m a bit biased since I was born here and have lived here my whole life, but I think that with a good guide (one who can keep you off the beaten path) is truly one of this country’s secrets. I’m sad when I see foreign bloggers visit it, though, because they mostly stick to what tourist guides tell them and then you see your city pictured as something REALLY disappointing. So if you ever decide to visit, send me an email and I’ll help you!

    Oh and please bring cold weather clothes. The very low temps won’t be such a problem in Madrid, but in Barcelona, with the humidity, you’ll freeze. Hopefully, by the end of next week things should have warmed up quite a bit!

  28. wsake

    February 16, 2012

    What about a little trip to Porto? I think it´s just about an hour by train from Lisbon and it´s beyond lovely – and right at the sea.

  29. Mills

    February 16, 2012

    For Lisbon, I agree with everyone that posted about Pasteis de Belem. 3 years later and I still dream of their custard tarts – absolutely delicious. Happy travels!

  30. Sandra

    February 16, 2012

    Hi Jordan!

    I’m spanish, born in Barcelona and basically when some foreigner friend wants to come to Spain, I strongly recommend these top cities:

    – Barcelona
    – Madrid
    – Segovia
    – Toledo**
    – Granada
    – Sevilla
    – Córdoba**
    – Frigiliana**
    – Ronda**

    (** Everybody said that this cities are hilarious!)

    If you have any doubt, I will be pleased to help you 😀

    Have a lot of fun!

  31. Sandra

    February 16, 2012

    Ei Jordan!

    And of course, if you need help about Barcelona, I can tell you some nice places around the city to enjoy with the whole family! :-)

    Have a nice day!

  32. Inma

    February 16, 2012

    Hi, I was born and live in Seville. For eating you should go to Los Coloniales.
    Go early, because there´s always a lot of people. Avoid restaurants in the tourists areas, like barrio santa cruz. People from here don´t eat in those restaurants, they are expensive and food isn´t good. For going out at night, go to Alameda.

    I love Tarifa!. You should go to Bolonia, too. It´s a virgin beach about 30 km. from Tarifa. It´s so beautiful! And for eating in Tarifa I recommend you Tarifa Eco Center. You can eat in their beautiful patio.

  33. Sara

    February 16, 2012

    Hey! I’m from Barcelona :-)

    it’s so cool you can have holidays and go 20degrees up! but HERE YOU ARE GOING TO NEED THE COAT!!! I mean, it’s sunny most of the days and in the midday if you are in the sunlight you can warm up your face, but it’s still winter!

    I have read the recommendations in the comments and they say all the best places so I guess I can only say: hope you enjoy them!

    On sunday there’s a flea market of books in Sant Antoni Market. It’s there all the morning and then it’s nice to go to see “El Grec”, an outdoor theater in the Montjuic Park, perfect for reading some newbook after a walk 😉

  34. Inma

    February 16, 2012

    Hola, desde Sevilla, una ciudad llena de luz, y con unas temperaturas calidas te esperan.

  35. Ana

    February 16, 2012

    It seems too much for only two weeks… I’ll probably skip Arcos de la Frontera and Tarifa, and visit Cordoba instead. It is close to Granada and you can visit it in one day…

    I am from barcelona and live in Madrid so I guess I can give you some tips…

    – Barcelona: You must visit Passeig de Gràcia and see the modernist buildings there (I love Casa Atmetller, next to Casa Batlló). Have a look at the streetlamps (so beautiful!). You should also walk along Las Ramblas (better if you go in the morning andavoid the weekend, it’s too crowded) and in your way visit Plaça Reial, a beautiful square with lovely restaurants (have a look at the prices, anyway). Since you are travelling with kids, I would surely visit the Parque Güell, it is amazing and the kids will love it! It’s like being in an imaginary world. Oh! And you can also visit Montjuic Castle. City views from there are great. Finally, you cannot miss the Gothic Neighbourhood as well as El Born. Just walk around and get lost. It seems like you are in a different place and time.

    – Madrid: I would start my walk in the Palacio Real and go walking along Calle Mayor until you arrive to the Plaza Mayor. It’s one of my favourite places in Madrid. Next to it, there is the San Miguel Market, a beutiful market that has recebtly been renewed and offers a great variety of food. I’ll have a glass of wine there and walk around tasting some delighful tapas (croquettes, cheese, cold meat, seafood, oysters…). If you continue walking along Calle Mayor you will finally arrive to Puerta del Sol and its well-known “Kilometro 0″, the starting point of all Spanish roads). Once there, you have different options:

    A) Walking to Gran Vía (our Broadway) and maybe crossing to Chueca Neighbourhood to have lunch in any of his marvellous restaurants: Bazaar is great (mediterranean food), although it is packed at night and you cannot make any reservations (so if you want to have dinner there go early, around 8.30) or Tepic (Mexican food). You can also visit Malasaña Neighbourhood and have a coffee (and a piece of cake) in Lolina Vintage Cafe or go to Happy Day (!!) and buy some delicious cupcakes to take away!.

    For lovely shops, go to Las Salesas (close to Chueca).

    B) From Sol, continue along La Carrera de San Jeronimo (in number 8 you will find Lhardy, one of the most famous (and oldest) restaurants in Madrid to have a typical “cocido madrileño” or just some consomé to get warm) and go up to Calle El Principe. You will arrive to Santa Ana’s Square, plenty of bars where you can have a beer and some tapas. Have a walk around this old neighbourhod called “El Barrio de las Letras” and its writer named streets (Cervantes, Lope de Vega). The you can continue walking to the Paseo del Prado where we will find Madrid most famous museum, El Museo del Prado. Up the street you will also find the Thyssen Museum (my favourite in Madrid!). If you continue walking you will arrive to Cibeles Fountain and turning right you will see La Puerta de Alcalá. Go there and visit El Retiro. It is a beautiful park you should not miss.

    Oh! Another museum that I love is the Sorolla Museum. It is placed in the painter’s home and it is not a really big collection so you could easily visit it with kids. And if you like Modern Art you should also visit Reina Sofia Museum.

    Another thing you may want to visit is the Templo de Debod. An egiptian temple that was given to the city of Madrid in appreciation for the city’s help in saving the Nubia temples in Egypt.

    I think I’ll stop writing now… if you wish to know anything else, just ask! Have a nice trip!

    Btw! I’ve been in Granada twice and it’s amazaing, one of the most beatiful places in the world!

  36. Bea

    February 16, 2012

    Hi Jordan, I´m a spanish girl living in Madrid who read your blog… If you can tell me how many days you are spending at Madrid perhaps I can be your tour planner. There is a lot to see here, but you´d need at least five days to see it all. I mean, just for visiting the main museums you´d need two or three days… This is my personal mail ( just in case you want me to tell you some interestings places in Madrid. Nice trip!

  37. Audrey G

    February 16, 2012


    I really enjoyed Andalousie, it’s a great place.
    I specially loved 2 places :
    – Casares : we stayed in a little hotel on top of the village, we arrived during the night, all the children were playing in the streets like in an old movie and what a surprise when we opened the window and saw the vieuw, the white houses…. loved it
    nice for just a night and half a day
    – Nerja : a very nice place to stay and enjoy the sea not too crowded, very nice for families

    enjoy !

  38. Alex

    February 16, 2012


    You’ll love Lisbon.

    MYSEASTORY said it all, but i just want to had a visit to Santa Just a Lift, engineered by a student of Eiffel., and the Museum Berardo on Belem.

    Have fun!

  39. La Princesa Azul

    February 16, 2012

    Be careful with the clothing you bring. Spain is a little bit chiller than usually is at this time of the year. at least, it is right now in Madrid.

    For Madrid, i recommend to eat bocadillo de calamares in Plaza Mayor, dinner at Plaza de Santa Ana (Lateral restaurant, or a small restaurant in a next street Huertas 11) , flea market and tapas in Sunday morning in La Latina.

    In the South of Spain, Sevilla and Granada are the best. Granada is a lovely arabic city, enjoy the free tapas everywhere. In Sevilla, dont miss drinking cervezas in Plaza del Salvador , or flamenco in “La carboneria”


  40. sushi lover

    February 16, 2012

    oh my already so many recommendations!
    i’m from lisbon (although living in london now) so here are my tips:

    – ride on the 28 tram (best part is from jardim da estrela to largo da graça)
    – oceanário is great for kids
    – food is the best in portugal, specially cakes. try “pastéis de belém” in belém.
    – stroll “chiado” and “baixa” for nice cafes and shops. visit the shop “uma vida portuguesa” it’s beautiful and full of vintage portuguese items. my favourite cafes around are “royale”, “vertigo” and “confeitaria nacional”
    – walk “alfama” for a hint of morocco. go to “miradouros” for exquisite views (my favourite is “nossa senhora do monte”
    – sintra is really beautiful if you can make it. go to the café” “saudade” it’s just outside the train sation and really nice. while in sintra you must try “travesseiros” or “queijadas”
    – one of my favourite programs is to take the boat from “cais do sodré” to “cacilhas” and then walk along the river to two restaurants “ponto final” and “atira-te ao rio”. first is brazillian food, second is portuguese. it’s a strange walk between abandonned buildings but the view is worth it.

    have lot’s of fun and look forward to hear your impressions.
    it is a beautiful and relaxed city with a great vibe.

    i’m curious what you’ll think of the portuguese accent because it’s so different from the brazilian.

  41. Elena

    February 16, 2012

    In Portugal, is a pity not to visit Porto, it´s a gem. And in Spain, I would also recommend Valencia, for its gastronomy, cultural heritage, Mediterranean feeling, and Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, because it´s another gem. Tarifa perhaps is a bit sad in winter, but I suppose is your door to Morocco. I remember there a nice shop called Moodywood (
    In Barcelona and Madrid, in brief, I recommend you the restaurants of Grupo Tragaluz ( And also in Barcelona, don´t miss the Born neighbourhood. I think you´ll love the city.
    Anyway, is a bit heavy to visit 3 countries in just 2 weeks, don´t you think?
    Have a good journey, and update us!

  42. Pilar

    February 16, 2012

    Hi Jordan!

    I’m Spanish and I’m glad you’re going to spend some time in my country. You’re going to love it. My favourite place is Madrid, it’s a great and lively city, don’t miss the views of Madrid from “Palacio de las Comunicaciones” just en Plaza de Cibeles, it’s free and there are a great room for rest with newspapers and sofas, great for kids!

    Enjoy it!

  43. Ivette

    February 16, 2012

    From Barcelona I’d recommend you having a walk beside the sea, if the say is sunny the temperature will be nice. And if it’s a cloudy o rainy day, it also has a special atmosphere. La Barceloneta (old fishermen neighbourhood) has narrow streets, a market and also some restaurants where to eat fish. Born neighbourhood (close to barceloneta) it’s very nice, with modern shops and narrow streets too. There you can visit the textil musem, picassos’s museum etc.
    The Ramblas, Boqueria’s market, Passeig de Gràcia, La pedrera and casa Batlló’s buildings are other places to be meet. Parc Güell is also nice. It is located near Gràcia neighbourhood. Sagrada familia is amazing too. A nice place in the center of Barcelona with great views of the city is the terrace roof of the Barceló Hotel in la Rambla del Raval. You have to be a bit aware of the pickpockets in this zone… and in general everywhere. I mean, don’t leave your phone on the table where you are having a drink for example, or keep always an eye on your belongings. This is the bad think about our city :((((
    If you want to visit some museum’s there are some that are perfect for going with kids, like science museum. Museu d’art santa Mònica (in the end of the Ramblas), CCCB, Macba, etc. are of modern art. Caixaforum (near Montjüic) has diferent temporal exhibitions, and MNAC (in Montjüic) has romanic, gótic art.
    I don’t know hoy many days you’ll be here, but an easy option for seeing all the nice places of Barcelona is taking the turistic bus. A friend of me, who is from here too, took it and enjoyed it. He said that learned things about his city that he didn’t know before.
    Enjoy your trip :)

  44. Flávia

    February 16, 2012

    Acompanho seu blog faz muito tempo e adoro!!!! Amei saber que você fala português e até já esteve no Brasil por alguns anos!! Resolvi então te deixar um recadinho pra que você saiba que tem fãs por aqui também!! beijos!!!

  45. Vanessa

    February 16, 2012

    Barcelona love:
    -a design shop I think you’ll adore:
    -the CCCB is also a must-see:
    -and basically the entire “El Born” district (my old home) -say hello to it for me!:


  46. krista (urbanite jewelry)

    February 16, 2012

    Another commenter recommended taking a trip to Marrakesh if you’re only spending one day in Morocco. It’s actually a 7-hour train trip to Marrakesh from Tangier, and although it’s on the Marrakesh Express (yes, really!), you literally would spend your whole time getting to and from Marrakesh on the train. So stay in Tangier.

    I also echo what another commenter said about Tangier being a very wonderful but difficult city to travel. Having lived in Morocco and having traveled back there after living there, I can say that I’m glad that Paul will be going with you (as sad as it is to say, it’s better if you’re traveling with a man in Morocco–the men there are relentless to westerners–especially in Tangier because so many tourists come down from France and Spain). In Tangier, try to visit the American Legation. Morocco was the first country to formally recognize the United States as a country when it was founded, and there is a really cool house/museum there dedicated to it. It’s not necessarily always open (as you’d expect others to be), and not many people go there–so if you do, knock on the door when you find it and you will get a private tour by the people who run it. You’ll feel like you stepped into a time past when you walk in. Really neat artwork, etc. there!

    Have a great time!

  47. MissangaAzul

    February 16, 2012

    How wonderfull that you are coming to Lisbon! But be careful, here is also very cold, so bring your coats and gloves! Very sunny, but very cold!
    I defendly recomend you to visit the Oceanário de Lisboa, the Expo area, the Chiado area, Bairro Alto, Belém (yes, eat some Pasteis de Belém!), Baixa, Castelo S. Jorge, ride the electric car 28, and Sintra, which is a small villa near by Lisbon. You can take the train. And please, eat some Pasteis at Piriquita!

    The subway is a very easy, safe and fast way to travel in Lisbon, and you can also walk around.

    But all you need to know to xperience Lisbon like a local is here:


  48. lindseybee

    February 16, 2012

    Oh! So excited you’re going to Lisbon–that’s Next on my travel list, so I’m anxious to see what great places you run into (besides those I see on the Travel Channel :)).

    When I was in Barcelona, my most favorite spot was the Picasso and Joan Miro museums, as well as the Gaudi houses, of course. The language is Catalonian, so if you know any Spanish it can be challenging to communicate sometimes, but then again, that can be the fun part, too! :)

    Have fun! I can’t WAIT to hear of your Lisbon adventures–seems like the perfectly eclectic place to be.

  49. Laura

    February 16, 2012

    I’ve lived in Barcelona for 4 1/2 years then moved to Seville and I’ve been here for almost 5.
    In BCN I recommend you to go to Mirabe ( and for the kids don’t forget to go to Las Fonts de Monjuic.
    In Seville go to Metrosol Parasol at la Encarnación, aka Las Setas de la Encarnación. It’s a observatory deck that openned a couple of months ago.
    You must eat for breakfast a “mollete con jamón (iberico), aceite y tomate”. Mollete is a typical bread of Andalucia and it is delicious, crunchy, mouthwatering. If you go to a small bar the better (and cheaper, should be with coffee around 3,50€). The “Alameda” area is also very nice for tapas: Duo Tapas, Sidonie, Al Aljibe, La Azotea, El Badulaque.
    Have fun!

  50. Deepa

    February 16, 2012

    Oh wow you will be visiting some of my favorite places in Europe! Have fun!

    Salema – Salema is tiny and the beach is not as stunning as some of those in Lagos or Portimao, but IMO it is one of the few towns in that part of Algarve that still feels authentic. Restaurante Mira Mar is a little shack facing the beach with wonderful food. We had the octopus salad and seafood rice with sangria tinta, they were awesome.

    Granada – I second (third, fourth) everyone who recommended La Carboneria and the Alhambra.

    Do a day trip to Ronda if possible. It is a gorgeous little town that is home to the one of the oldest bullrings in Spain (if you’re a Madonna fan, she shot the video for Take a Bow there).

    Barcelona – Aside from what’s already been mentioned, La Boqueria market for cheap eats. About 100m from the entrance is a cafe called Escriba, which has amazing (AMAZING) hot chocolate.

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